The fisheries and aquaculture sector in Myanmar is critically important to the country’s food and nutrition security and economy. Climate change is forecast to have a significant impact on the sector. For capture fisheries (marine and inland) these impacts include changes in sea surface temperature, higher inland water temperature, changes in ocean currents, changes in the frequency of El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, sea level rise and changing levels of rain and water availability. The aquaculture sector is also exposed to hazards such as salt-water intrusion, flooding of ponds, shortages in water supply, invasive species and ad hoc development planning altering local ecosystem dynamics and undermining their resilience, integrity and functionality.
At present, Myanmar faces significant challenges in addressing these issues and achieving sustainable management and utilisation of its aquatic resources. These include weak governance, organizational capacities, institutional arrangements, limited technical capacity and knowledge, and limited resources for the development and implementation of adaptation plans.
In order to address these issues and to support implementation of National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) NAPA, the project addresses three main barriers to climate change adaptation, including:
- Lack of climate resilient sector policies, and limited integration of fisheries specific climate responses into national policies
- Lack of capacity and resources within the sector to support communities in planning and responding to climate related stressors and fisheries and aquaculture adaptation to climate change impacts.
- Limited knowledge sharing and communication within the sector and with fisheries and aquaculture dependent communities, limited coordination and lack of real-time/working level understanding of climate change and its’ impacts on fisheries, aquaculture and their livelihoods.
The project’s objective is to assist the government to enable inland and coastal fishery and aquaculture stakeholders to adapt to climate change by understanding and reducing vulnerabilities, piloting new practices and technologies, and sharing information.
A national Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment will identify “at risk” ecosystems and dependent communities, in particular small-scale traditional fisheries and fish farming systems for specific action. Environmental sustainability will be ensured through positive impacts of the introduced climate change adaptation plans, fisheries management plans, technologies and approaches on a range of ecosystem services, which will be developed in local community user areas and in the longer term on larger areas through upscaling of best practices. Screening of any new CCA technologies and approaches developed by the project will be undertaken according to national legislation. Long term strengthening of climate change adaptation knowledge sharing networks and environmental monitoring will be undertaken by ensuring these will operate within national mechanisms and resources by project completion.
In line with effective and comprehensive capacity development practices to address individual, organizational and institutional capacities, the project will work at the national and region/state level on laws, policies and institutional strengthening, coordination and knowledge management. Community level adaption approaches and technologies will be carried out at in the Ayeyarawady Region, Yangon Region and Rakhine State.
The primary stakeholders of the project at community level are fishers, fish farmers, and those with fishery and aquaculture-dependent livelihoods and the private sector. Women and vulnerable groups will be supported to ensure their active engagement throughout the project cycle, including through gender-sensitive vulnerability assessments, adaptation actions and capacity building.
The Department of Fisheries (MoALI) will be the main institutional partner for the project, which will coordinate and collaborate with a wide range of partners including, for example, MFF, LIFT, Worldfish, JICA, NGO’s, government agencies, development partners and the private sector.